Health officials have issued new advice in recent weeks suggesting that even fully vaccinated individuals can spread COVID-19 — particularly the easily transmissible Delta variant.
Now, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (S-SC) has confirmed that he tested positive for the virus despite his vaccination status.
Graham issues statement after positive COVID test
He issued a statement indicating that he is doing well and comparing his symptoms to a sinus infection.
Graham explained that the House physician administered the test after he exhibited “flu-like symptoms” on Saturday.
The senator subsequently visited his own doctor and confirmed that he would remain isolated for a total of 10 days.
Most senators are fully vaccinated and a group of them gathered on a houseboat belonging to Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) over the weekend. So far, Graham’s is the only so-called breakthrough infection reported as a result.
The illness comes at a pivotal time for the chamber as senators consider a nearly 3,000-page infrastructure bill. His experience is also the latest example of COVID-19 spreading even among vaccinated Americans
“Symptoms would be far worse” without vaccination
Last month, a group of Texas Democratic lawmakers was tied to an outbreak that infected at least vaccinated White House staffer.
As the Biden administration and other officials stress the importance of vaccinating as many individuals as possible, Graham expressed gratitude that he was fully inoculated at the time he contracted the virus.
“I am very glad I was vaccinated because without vaccination I am certain I would not feel as well as I do now,” he said. “My symptoms would be far worse.”
In light of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases, the Biden administration and health officials have reversed earlier guidelines and are now recommending that even fully vaccinated Americans return to wearing masks in many indoor settings. The change in opinion along with reports of breakthrough infections have led to some skeptics doubting the efficacy of the currently available vaccinations.
Of course, some prominent Democrats have attracted accusations of hypocrisy for dismissing current guidelines to engage in activities that could spread the virus — including former President Barack Obama’s recent 60th birthday celebration.